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Govt Ready To Pay Even Rs 400 Crore To Make Hindi An Official Language At UN, Says Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj reaches Thailand for the first leg of her 3-nation visit; As India marks 25 years of its partnership with ASEAN and in keeping with its Act East Policy, Swaraj is visiting Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore from January 4-8. "All aspects of bilateral relations with Thailand will be discussed with particular focus on political, defence and economic ties and on further enhancing India's engagement with ASEAN countries", a Ministry of External Affairs official said.

Sushma Swaraj, claimed that Tharoor was being ignorant, telling him that if he thinks that Hindi language is only spoken in India, then he is being ignorant about the reach of the language. "It is not hard to get the support of two-thirds member nations".

In the wake of this debate, let's take a look at the current official and working languages of the United Nations.

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"It is not hard to get the support of two-third member-nations". She also noted the problem isn't that they won't get the support of two thirds of members, but it is that the small nations becomes hesitant to bear the expense of making Hindi the official language of India. She added that the government was ready to set aside Rs 400 crore for the goal. Why do we need an official language in the UN?

She said that if the rules so permitted, the Indian government is ready to bear the entire expense.

"Hindi is not the national language, it is an official language", said Tharoor. "All the.countries where there have been Indian origin rulers - Mauritius, Fiji, Surinam, Trinidad and Tobago, and Ghana - there are Indian-origin Hindi-speaking people too".

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Also, spending taxpayers' money on something so trivial is not acceptable.

The external affairs minister added that "A World Hindi Secretariat has also been set up in Mauritius in February 2008 to promote Hindi as an global language".

Arabic does not have more speakers than Hindi, but Arabic is spoken by 22 countries, whereas Hindi is only used as an official language by one country - us. The government giving preference to one language is unfair to the more than 50% of Indian citizens that do not speak Hindi.

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